This. Is. How. It. Always. Works.
Politicians get elected by making expensive, grandiose promises that are virtually impossible to fund. The voters, excited by the politicians promises, elect said politician, who proceeds to gleefully waste the money of the taxpayers on frivolous things. Then, when the inevitable budget shortfall rears its ugly head, they strong-arm the public into supporting tax increases by blaming the deficit on those who are principally opposed to tax increases and by threatening to cut funding for more popular public programs like education and the fire department. You can watch this cycle play out again and again. Maybe one day we’ll break it, but that day isn’t today.
The city expects the June ruling to bring in about $12 million each year in the latest example of Mayor Rahm Emanuel relying on boosting various smaller fees and fines to try to help close the city’s yawning budget hole. Companies will have until Sept. 1 to begin paying the taxes, but the changes allow for them to start collecting them sooner, according to the new rules.
Companies that deliver cloud-based services will be responsible for collecting taxes from their Chicago customers, according to the rules, and those eligible to be taxed cover a broad spectrum.
“In an environment in which technologies and emerging industries evolve quickly, the City periodically issues rulings that clarify the application of existing laws to these technologies and industries,” mayoral spokeswoman Elizabeth Langsdorf said in a statement issued Wednesday. “These two rulings are consistent with the City’s current tax laws and are not an expansion of the laws.
"These ensure that city taxation is uniformly and fairly applied and that businesses are given clear guidance on the applicability of the City’s tax laws to their operations, and they clarify that the amusement tax and personal property lease tax apply to digital services.”
According to the Finance Department changes, the 9 percent amusement tax, which has mostly been tacked onto tickets to concerts and sporting events, also now applies to paid subscriptions for streamed digital music and to streamed rental movies or TV shows, and “for the privilege of participating in games, on-line or otherwise,” if the person paying to receive the data is in Chicago.